Key words antibiotics , fish farming, GM foods, organics, pesticides
Book Review -The Great Food Gamble by John Humphries.
Article by Dr Mark Draper
The whole question of what was happening to the food chain was highlighted by the emerging stories surrounding BSE and more recently Foot and Mouth Disease.
John Humphries is one of Britainís most respected broadcasters and listeners to Radio 4's Today Programme will have heard him interviewing various people. You will recognise his style in the final chapter, when he interviews himself about this book!
In the book he asks whether we are putting our health at risk and betraying our children by squandering our rich agricultural heritage. He looks at the growth of factory farming and how successive governments have turned a blind eye to the devastating effects of factory farming on the quality of animals produced and the damage to the environment. The liberal use of antibiotics has affected not only animalís health but also led to antibiotic resistance in our hospitals. The effects of pesticides are yet to be fully realised and he raises questions about the cumulative toxicity of these and other chemicals used in modern farming.
The time must be right for those with a practical knowledge (especially the older farmers) to meet with the scientists so we can work our way forward into a sustainable, less toxic, agricultural future. If you needed to know the facts, this is the book to read, it will put you in the picture about the current dilemmas facing farmers, politicians and all of us concerned with the quality of our food.
The Great Food Gamble I misread in the newspapers as the Great Food Scandal and I think the author could have chosen either title. The fact that he chose the former may reflect the fact that he owns an organic farm in Wales and he, unlike most of us, has been implementing and testing his ideas about how things could be done better.
The Great Food Gamble by John Humphries